Democratic Socialist, So What? Big Deal!


My name is Johnny Hill, founder of the House of Public Discourse and I am a Democratic Socialist. So What? Big Deal!

In the first place, its way past time to rescue the word socialist from the dirty word list. Also, should we not be proud to claim it? One of the greatest presidents in American history was a self-described socialist. Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

In the second place, I am an American. Socialist policies are the American way and our tradition as well. Socialist policies permeate every aspect of American governance. Public Education, Public Roads, and the U.S. Military to name a few. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, we are all in this together or at least we should be in our view. For over thirty years now, Northern European countries have embraced socialism with increasing enthusiasm. While here in America the term has been demonized. Instead of striving for social democracy we have moved back to the age of the Robber Barons. If you work for minimum wage you will probably be on welfare. Social first step programs are under attack.

With this in mind, let’s stop and think for a moment. If the working poor could not get welfare to help with food, housing, medical care, childcare, would they be able to work at all? Probably not. So the employers who hire these type workers are the ones really being subsidized. If these socialist policies were not there they would be forced to pay higher wages. So, what we have seen in the right to work states where social programs have been dismissed is higher rates of illegal immigrants being hired for these low wage jobs.

Republican Policies Led To Illegal Immigration They Bitch About!

47% of Democrats view capitalism positively, down from 56% in 2016
57% of Democrats now view socialism positively, little changed from 2010
Republicans very positive about capitalism; 16% positive on socialism [See Source]

What is important to realize here is that Democratic Socialism is not anti-capitalism. It’s the biggest misconception period. Democratic Socialism entails a massive role for capitalism in our economy. Democratic Socialism does not affect the private sector. All Democratic Socialism advocates are for a robust commons or public sector. It should be vibrant and strong for all Americans.

That everyone should be able to get an education. That everyone should be able to get proper healthcare. That our elderly should be able to live out their lives with dignity. Bottomline these wants are not anti-capitalism.

Democratic Socialism Coexist with Capitalism

There has been an astonishing amount of ignorance surrounding the word. And, it begins with mainstream and corporate pundits. We think this ignorance is by design which confuses things even more. In other words, people feel they must choose between capitalism and socialism. Let’s be clear, we are not talking Marxism here. Democratic Socialism is not Communism.

When Progressives are talking about Democratic Socialism we are not referring to Communism. We get it. Communism and Capitalism are opposites and they do not attract. What we are talking about is what we already have in America but we just do not do it well. We have Social Security but most people can’t retire on it. There are Medicare and Medicaid but it does not cover all your expenses. We provide unemployment benefits but it has been cut down to just six months in most areas of the country.

There are job retraining programs but they have been taken over by the private sector pay for-profit schools which are nothing but a scam. Yes, we have socialism already in America. We provide food stamps based on three-dollars a day. We have social safety nets but they are not managed well and hence are under attack. America just sucks at socialism and it’s an understatement.

Neoliberalism and Subsequent Inequality are the Results

Inequality resulting from Neoliberalism can be solved by raising taxes on the top 1percent. We have done it before and it should be done again. It’s really simple and we know it works. Right now we have CEO’s making over 500 times what their workers are making. It’s the greed factoid. In fact, it is these huge tax cuts to the rich that ruined America. It is time to put a stop to it.

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American Democracy No Longer Exists

American Democracy

American Democracy is a thing of the past.

American Democracy no longer exists. Democracy is under attack. It has happened before. In today’s America, this writer sees a battle fully joined right now! It echoes the 1800’s and 1920’s. People like the Koch Brothers are donating untold amounts of money to sway elected officials. Two people with the help of about 300 rich folks are essentially subverting American Democracy. What we see happening in the present is very similar to what was going on in 1799 under President John Adams.

American Democracy

As a result, the American people reversed this trend by electing one Thomas Jefferson. Many referred to this as the American Revolution of 1800 people were able to take back American Democracy at the ballot box. Is this still possible today? Can we in the present stop the Oligarchs and Plutocrats? Can the everyday American citizen stop the hijacking of our democracy? Does there need to be an American Revolution of 2018? Just like in the 1920’s America’s economic system is in crisis mode.  

Today’s political platforms mirror those of the Harding presidency of the 1920’s. More business in government less government in business. Deregulate and privatize. The deregulation of the banks in the early 1920’s. Which led to a Stock Market crash known as the ” Great Depression.”

Lack of Banking Oversight is a Killer!

One of the key factors that influenced all the other factors in the 1920s was the lack of national economic planning or any other substantial form of active government oversight in the economy. The Republican administrations of Warren G. Harding (served 1921–1923), Calvin Coolidge (served 1923–1929), and Herbert Hoover (served 1929–1933) embraced a laissez-faire philosophy. Laissez-faire means being relatively free of government control or regulation. These presidents did not plan, nor did they attempt to regulate, banking, stocks, bonds, or other basic aspects of the economy. They also did not gather adequate statistics that, if analyzed, would have highlighted growing problems in stock market investing, agriculture, international finance, and buildup of inventories of consumer goods.[See Source]

History Does Repeat Itself in Politics

Just like then as it is now the Plutocrats have control over the economy and the political process.

American Democracy

Yes, Fascism is alive and well in our American Democracy. In fact, it is the repackaging of the Fascist playbook.[See Article] Given these points, you cannot convince this writer that people like the Koch Brothers are not spokesmen for monopoly and special interests. The overall goal of these Fascist factions is to seize political power. Equally important, controlling power both in the state and marketplace limits our ability to stop them from destroying our American Democracy. Yes, they want to keep out the government from regulating their toxic behaviors. We must all remember government in America is supposed to mean ” We the People,” instead of “We the Corporation.”

Let’s clarify what Henry Wallace meant by eternal subjection. Democrats must take ownership for their poor showings in the mid-terms. In 2014, the Republican Party gained more power in state legislatures than ever before. Losing elections come with consequences. The House of Public Discourse would submit to you that money in politics was the biggest reason for this other than the usual poor voter turnout of the Democrats. Not to mention, that liberty has given way to gerrymandering.[See Article]

But, gerrymandering is not illegal. Both establishment parties have used it. It’s one of the consequences of losing elections. These assaults on our American Democracy traced back to the Powell memo.

What was the Powell Memo?

What have we seen result from all this power added that now we also have an orange Buffon in the White House? There are workshops of plutocracy conducted in these states. What we have is a full-fledged battle for democracy coupled with an eroding educational system. Wage-Stagnation. Attacks on the Civil Rights and Voting Rights legislation protections are disfranchising more and more people every day. Not to mention, growing inequality in America.

America’s once vibrant middle-class has submerged into the working poor. The question is how much longer are we going to sit back and take this abuse? What is going on is a total war on Progressivism which is attempting to correct this growing imbalance in our society. Neoliberals from both political parties are using McCarthyism tactics to misrepresent the goals and desires of the Progressive. Real Reason? When you remove the labels what you find is that progressive issues are popular with the American people. Both Democrat and Republican alike.[See Source] This is the main reason they want to keep us under eternal subjection.

They Have A Plan and you know what? It Is Working?

Factions both left and right along with their media echo chambers are seeking to marginalize Progressives and so-called Bernie Sanders Democrats from spreading the progressive message of inclusion for all and erasure of corruption that rules our governance. Since 2014 there has been a bevy of religious freedom bills put forth by conservatives to allow them to discriminate against others who see things differently. For example, refusing to serve Gay people at a Diner. These actions are by design to attract bigots. They know there is a huge voting block of them.[Bigots] They love slicing and dicing the electorate.

Labor laws and Workers Rights advocates get crucified by right-wing media for attempting to educate the public on the horrific impact ” Right to Work” states are having on its citizens and economy. The anti-union legislation is on steroids. Then there is cutting taxes on the rich. The very last thing America should be doing. America should be raising the taxes on the rich not lowering them. Therefore creating shortfalls in state budgets that are being satisfied by cutting peoples pension and welfare programs.

American Democracy No Longer Exists

We must come to terms with the reality that American Democracy as we knew it no longer exists. We are no longer at this time an actual democracy. A recent study by Princeton University makes this clear.[See Study] America has in fact moved from a Republic/Democracy to an Oligarchy. No, this is not front page news. But what should be front and center with every American is that we need a movement a real physical revolution to take back our democracy and restore it to its proper place. In the hands of the people.

What saddens this writer is unlike the American Revolution of 1800 won at the ballot box after the 2016 election fiasco I have little confidence in the integrity of America’s election system. I think it high time we all drop wasteful time and energy spent on blaming Russia and never-ending Congressional Hearings trying to impeach Trump when we could all get off our collective backsides and ensure we are properly registered to vote. Participate in our local communities for issues that matter to us. Moreover, get out an vote instead of making excuses not too. We must recruit and encourage quality well-rounded people to run for political office. We all must be ready to take bold actions against the National and Global plutocrats destroying our environments outsourcing our jobs and killing us with their deregulation practice. American Democracy no longer exists. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Civil Disobedience Is Our Responsibility People Do Make The World Go Round! Reminds me of a Song


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America’s Economic System is in Crisis Mode

America's Economic System

America’s Economic System is heading for Destruction.

America’s economic system is in crisis mode and no one’s talking. “Wealth Inequality” in America has never been wider than in the present. Ten-percent of Americans has over 50% of our nation’s wealth. While one-percent of Americans own 20%. Is America’s economic system failing most Americans?
As a matter of fact, most Americans struggle on wages less than 10 dollars per hour putting them below the poverty line. The salaries of top CEO’s are often in the billions of dollars. Income inequality is also a global issue. One-percent of the world’s population owns over 40% of its wealth. What does this all mean? What are the ramifications? How did this materialize?

America’s Economic System is in Decline and Wealth Inequality Rules the Day!

Not to mention, a new Trump tax code that raises healthcare cost, cuts social programs like Medicaid, Pell Grants, and Food Stamps and insures over the long-haul tax hikes for the working class. The evidence is pointing to the fact capitalism is in its late stages. We are at a point in which the capitalist system that has been the most influential for decades that once created a vibrant robust middle-class is in decline.
America’s economic system once responsible for lifting everybody up since becoming the global system, as a result, has become the exact opposite. This global transformation has produced preposterous worldwide inequality. To put it differently, America’s economic system has failed to live up to its promise.
And now, in the present, the global elites and their pocketed politicians backed by their corporate owned media echo chambers want to keep us distracted from this reality. The numbers don’t lie! Economic and political shenanigans are the order of the day.  Anti-Immigration, Tariffs, blaming foreigners, anything to move our focus away from confronting a failed economic system that no longer is working for most of the people.
Trump’s new tax cuts are a perfect illustration of the explosive excess gone wild inside the beltway. Corporations have paid fewer taxes for over forty years. At the same time wages have remained stagnant. This behavior is a prime example why America’s economic system is deteriorating.
There is an irony to all this economic upheaval. Yes, capitalism played a major role in creating a large American middle class. However, people seemed to forget what brought this about was a major economic disaster known as ” The Great Depression.”

One of the foundational beliefs of the House of Public Discourse is that history does repeat itself in politics.

America's Economic System

There is no denying the growth of wealth inequality is politically motivated and it has happened before. There was a time known as the “Robber Baron Era.” Many contribute the excesses of this time as the reason for the aforementioned “Great Depression.”
A Robber Baron based on historical factual behavior is a ruthlessly powerful U.S. capitalist or industrialist of the late 19th century considered to have become wealthy by exploiting natural resources, corrupting legislators, or other unethical means. Does this not sound familiar? [See Source] Measures put in place after 1929 Wall Street crash that helped its recovery are under attack!
In other words, you had victims of capitalism creating an insurrection directed at then-President Franklin D Roosevelt[FDR] giving him an ultimatum to change the way America’s economic system functioned. And you know what? He heard them.

The American people back then basically told FDR that either you fix this and corral these out of control Robber Barons or you will have a revolution on your hands

America's Economic System
Franklin D Roosevelt

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another.

But above all, try something.

The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.

We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. Government needs to correct, by drastic means if necessary, the faults in our economic system from which we now suffer.

We need the courage of the young. Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you. May every one of us be granted the courage, the faith, and the vision to give the best that is in us to that remaking!

From these demands sprang forth “Social Security,” “Workers Unemployment Compensation,” the minimum wage, and public employment. These social programs were direct push backs on at the time an out of control capitalist economic system. Social Insurance such as these helped bridge inequality. No matter the push backs many feel that FDR’s “New Deal” saved capitalism coupled with World War II.

America Has Been Here Before

The rich and corporations hated the “New Deal.” They did not want it or to pay for it. Just like the present day ” Robber Barons” do. Which was taxing corporations and the rich. Given these points, it was taxing corporations and the rich that created a vibrant equal America. Politicians and mainstream media pundits argue this a political impossibility today. Frist, it was a threat of revolution that spurred change. Second, Democratic Socialist FDR heard this public outcry. He[FDR] acted accordingly and was reelected three times. Which led to term limits for the office of the presidency should history repeat itself?
Equally important, the success of the New Deal and the growing middle-class had an underlying adversary; the rich and corporations. The reaction by the rich and corporations was one of outrage that they were funding this prosperity. This has led to an all-out aggression on unions, welfare programs, and the demonizing of socialism. First, they went after the Communist. Labeling them agents of a foreign power. Next, they asserted that Communism and Socialism were one and the same. Then they attacked the labor movement.

What Has The Response Been Since 2008 Crash?

What has changed, nothing! Who has gone to jail, nobody? No new regulations are in place. In fact, there has been legislation enacted or purposed to roll back and lessen controls on banking. Obama gave us nothing but broken promises of change. He changed nothing. Capitalism spinning out of control. Moreover, what we got was just the ” rich getting richer,” and the ” middle-class going broke.” President Obama had a chance of being the second coming of FDR. But, he failed and failed badly. Now, with President Agent Orange Trump in office, we have a clown in comparison to FDR. Bottomline, Obama, and Trump and the people who line their pockets are one and the same.
America’s economic system is in crisis mode. The election of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton would not have made a difference. Both are Neoliberals. Both take money from the same paymasters. Let’s face it the oligarchs are winning. Our country is now the “United States of Oligarchy.” For this reason, America is in collapse. Furthermore, how long can this go without total anarchy from American citizens? Considering all this, is total anarchism the correct answer to the problem?

Chomsky sums up anarchism

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